DJI Mini 3 Pro Hyperlapse Tutorial and Best Settings

The Mini 3 Pro is an excellent tool for hyperlapse, especially with the special battery with longer life. It is crucial to use ND filters to enter the control the shutter speed value and motion blur. The app generates a short movie, but the best results are obtained by processing the individual RAW files

Over the years, I have been shooting thousands of hyperlapses both with regular cameras and with drones. It is a very spectacular technique, but it requires some experience

To know more about this technique, I suggest watching my in-depth article Timelapse vs Hyperlapse tutorial which applies not only to drones but also to ground-based cameras and contains some very interesting examples

You can check the prices for the different configurations of the Mini 3 Pro through the button below (commission earned)

I have made several related articles that you might find interesting:

If you prefer to watch this as a video, You will find my YouTube version at the end

Hyperlapse with the Mini 3 Pro

Hyperlapses are all about movement. Drones are an ideal tool for hyper lapses as they can move in a very stable way in all directions, like a big slider in the sky

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is particularly suitable, thanks to its excellent camera, good stability in flight, and relatively long battery life of over 30 minutes


The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a dedicated Hyperlapse mode

DJI Mini 3 Pro: Hyperlapse mode in the Photo/Video menu

We select it by clicking on the icon Photo/Video above the shutter and then on the vertical menu on the right choosing Hyperlapse

DJI Mini 3 Pro: the four Hyperlapse modes

The vertical menu to the left displays the classic four modes: Free, Circle, Course Lock, and Waypoints

Exposure Settings

By clicking on the icon at the bottom right of the screen we access a window for setting the exposure values. Here we can enter the desired values for ISO and Shutter Speed

Window for exposure settings for hyperlapses with the Mini 3 Pro

A small icon at the bottom left opens another window where we can set the white balance manually, which I strongly suggest to avoid shifts of color

We can choose the resolution of the hyperlapse automatically generated (4k and 1080p)

We can also choose to save each photo in RAW or JPEG format

The window for White Balance, resolution, and photo format in the Mini 3 Pro

I suggest saving the individual photos in RAW format. By carefully post-processing the individual RAW files we can achieve a hyperlapse of higher quality compared to the short movie automatically generated

To edit all the images and merge them to HDR I have used Luminar Neo.
Here you find my article about this excellent program

You will find info about Luminar Neo together with a coupon for a 10% discount by entering the code “vicvideopic” using the button below

Time Settings

For a hyperlapse, we must select a shooting time compatible with the battery life

We must aim for the optimal amount of motion blur, as we will see later on

We choose the settings after having selected one of the four hyperlapse modes

DJI Mini 3 Pro:

A small window will appear in the lower part of the screen in the middle, we open it by tapping on the small arrow to the right

DJI Mini 3 Pro: Window for Hyperlapse values

Here we can set the interval in seconds between each photo, the length of the final hyperlapse, and the maximum speed of the drone

The longer the interval between each photo, the faster will be the movement in the hyperlapse. The interval to choose with the Mini 3 Pro with the standard battery will be either 3 or 4 seconds

An interval of 3 seconds is a good choice when the movement in the scene comes from cars, boats, or people walking

When the movement comes mainly from clouds, an interval of 4 seconds is a better choice

In hyperlapses of sunrises or sunsets, longer intervals are preferable, but they can only be achieved when using the Intelligent Battery with a longer flying time

I like to set the length of the resulting movie at around 12 seconds. Assuming a frame rate of 24 frames per second, 300 photos will be needed (300 / 24 = 12.5)

In most cases, I prefer to have a relatively slow maximum flight speed

If the scene contains already some interesting movement I keep the speed near the minimum value to better concentrate on what is happening

Note that with the mode Waypoint, there is no choice for speed, as it will be automatically computed according to the distance traveled and the number of photos

Number of Photos

Hyperlapses are a series of photos shot at constant intervals and then assembled as a video sequence

With a Mini 3 Pro with the standard battery, the Interval Between Photos will start from one every 2 seconds up to one every 5 seconds

The higher the interval, the longer it will take to complete the shooting 

In most cases, I like to shoot time lapses of 300 photos, which at 24 fps give me a short movie of 12.5 seconds (300/24=12.5)

Interval Between PhotosNo. of PhotosShooting Time (sec)Shooting Time (min)
2 seconds300600 seconds10 minutes
3 seconds300900 seconds15 minutes
4 seconds3001,200 seconds20 minutes
5 seconds3001,500 seconds25 minutes

Length of a Hyperlapse

With a traditional camera, we can use longer intervals or go for longer time lapses, but with drones, we are limited by battery life

The longer interval we can use is one shot every 5 seconds, which requires 25 minutes of shooting, plus the time of setting up the shot and returning for landing

In most cases, drone hyperlapses I choose a a length of about 12 seconds. In case of a sunset or sunrise, a longer one would be desirable

This can be achieved with the Mini 3 Pro using the Intelligent Battery with an extended flight time of over 40 minutes which is highly recommended to users particularly interested in this technique, as it allows for longer short movies or higher intervals between photos

Motion Blur, the Crucial Factor for Hyperlapses

In real life moving elements don’t appear perfectly sharp to our eyes

The faster an object moves, the more blur the human eyes perceive around it

Think about a waterfall or the wheels of a fast-moving car

Motion blur is the single most important factor to consider when shooting hyper lapses, as the speed of moving objects is much faster than in real life. The correct amount of motion blur makes them appear as we would perceive them in real life

It is very easy to compute the exposure values needed for the optimal amount of motion blur by using the 180 degrees rule

It is a very old technique used in videography. In the case of timelapses and hyperlapses the rule consists of using the following shutter speed values according to the interval of photos:

Interval Between PhotosShutter Speed
1 photo every 2 seconds1 second
1 photo every 3 seconds1.5 seconds
1 photo every 4 seconds2 seconds

But a drone flying is not as stable as a camera on a sturdy tripod

I find that shutter speed values longer than one second may cause unwanted extra blur

Therefore, in windless conditions, I suggest using a shutter speed of 1 second for intervals of 3 seconds and above

More details about Motion blur, the crucial element of time lapses, in my dedicated article

On some rare occasions, it is possible to get some noise or flicker, I use the excellent denoiser Neat Video to get rid of them

You will find more info about Neat Video including the price through the button below
(commission earned)

Are ND Filters Needed for Hyperlapses?

As we have seen above, to get the correct amount of motion blur, we need to select specific values for shutter speed regardless of the amount of light in the scene

On most occasions, such long values will cause severe overexposure

When shooting hyperlapses we need ND filters to reduce the amount of light entering the sensor to dial in the correct shutter speed value to optimize motion blur

Due to the fixed aperture, the Mini 3 Pro has limited room for exposure adjustment, it is, therefore, crucial to have a set of ND filters and use the correct strength value for each specific light condition

Due to the very wide aperture of the Mini 3 Pro, higher ND values are needed compared to other drones

More info about the use of ND filters for hyperlapses here

Hyperlapse Modes

The Mini 3 Pro has four hyperlapse modes:

  • Waypoints
  • Free
  • Circle
  • Course Lock


Waypoints is the king of the hyperlapase modes, the one allowing practically all sorts of moves and the one I use on most occasions

To create a Waypoint mission, we open the window Set Waypoint, fly to the point where we want our hyperlapse to start, frame the shot, and tap the plus sign in the box on the left

The position of the drone, the altitude, and the direction of the camera will be stored in memory

Then we move to the next point of our hyperlapse, frame the shot, and set the second waypoints

The software will handle the smooth transition between the points

It is possible to set several points, but for videography, in most cases, I choose to use only two points, as the transitions between points are in my opinion a bit abrupt

Every Waypoint mission is automatically stored in the app and this is very powerful, as we can retrieve a mission to shoot the same hyperlapse at different times of the day, with different exposure values, in different light conditions, or in different seasons

More details about the outstanding Waypoint Hyperlapse mode in my specific article

Free Mode

Free mode is the only one that allows the use of the two sticks of the remote controller while shooting

But for timelapse where we intend to move in several directions, the mode Waypoint works much better with much smoother results

Therefore Free is to be used only with time lapses with a static point of view 

Static time lapses are very interesting when the scene contains a good amount of movement

They are a good test for the stability of a drone while hovering and the Mini 3 behaves very well

The Mini 3 is not fitted with a cooling fan and relies on the air collected while flying. Hovering in a static position for a time lapse might cause overheating, especially in hot weather, therefore some caution is needed

Circle Mode

In Circle mode, the aircraft orbits around the chosen target

We select a target by drawing a box around it, then we choose the interval, length of the video, and speed. Finally, we select the direction, clockwise or counterclockwise

After hitting the shutter, the aircraft for a few seconds rotates in the chosen direction evaluating the scene before starting the hyperlapse

During the hyper-lapse, it is possible to use the left stick of the controller to modify the elevation

Course Lock Mode

Course lock works similarly to the Intelligent Flight Mode Spotlight: we can choose a target and the camera will maintain it in the same position on the frame regardless of the direction of flight, in other words, the camera Is disconnected from the direction of flight

If we don’t select a target, the drone will simply fly forward

In Course Lock mode it is not possible to use the two sticks of the controller to get closer or further away from the target, or to modify the elevation

I rarely use this mode, as much more precise results can be achieved by using the mode Waypoints

Auto-Generated Hyperlapse

The Mini 3 generates a short movie of the hyperlapse at 4K or 1080p resolution

In the current DJI line, the quality of these short movies has drastically improved and this is good news for users who need to quickly post their masterpieces on social media

Obviously using the individual files in JPEG or, even better in RAW, is the way to get the best results

Vertical Hyperlapse

After a recent firmware upgrade, the Mini 3 is the first DJI drone capable of shooting hyperlapses in vertical format

This is a huge feature for users involved in social media platforms. All we need is to tilt the camera to portrait format before entering Hyperlapse mode

If You Prefer to Watch it as a Video


I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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